City of Cockburn, PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC, Western Australia, 6965
Telephone: (08) 9411 3444

For Developers of Affordable Housing

The City of Cockburn supports the development of affordable housing and affordable living objectives within the City, including Cockburn Coast. This page contains information to support developers seeking to deliver affordable housing through projects at Cockburn Coast.

National Rental Affordability Scheme

The National Rental Affordability Scheme, a join initiative by the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments, commenced in 2008 to assist in responding to the shortage of affordable rental housing across Australia. Private sector and not-for-profit organisations are eligible to receive financial incentives for up to 10 years on the condition of dwellings under the scheme being rented to eligible households at a discount of at least 20% below the prevailing market rent.

The Commonwealth and State/Territory Governments have committed to providing 50,000 affordable housing opportunities through the Scheme by 30 June 2016, with 7,000 of these targeted for Western Australia by 30 June 2016.

NRAS aims to:

Applications for Round 5 of NRAS closed in August 2013. For updates on future calls for submissions, please visit the Department of Social Services website.

Affordable Housing Opportunities for Developers (Generally)

There are many opportunities to produce high quality affordable including:

1. Develop dwellings that meet the affordable housing requirements usually in partnership with a housing association;

2. Develop dwellings which are purpose designed for low-income target groups. For example: larger families, students, and low waged workers who have difficulty finding living an studio space;

3. Apply for a grant from the National Rental Affordability Scheme. (See below for more details).

Affordable Housing Opportunities for Developers (At Cockburn Coast)

The City of Cockburn may grant a floorspace bonus in the event that a development application includes the provision of affordable housing at the following ratio.

  1. Affordable yield 10% = 30% floorspace bonus
  2. Affordable yield 20% = 40% floorspace bonus
  3. Affordable yield 25% = 45% floorspace bonus

For further information refer to the Robb Jetty Local Structure Plan.

The City encourages developers to seek further advice about affordable housing options during pre-application meetings with Council officers and prior to submitting a development application.

For information submission requirements please contact Statutory Planning on 9411 3444.


Partnering with community housing providers.

Community housing is owned by, or managed by, registered community housing providers.

Partnerships with community housing providers offer a range of incentives including:

  • Industry knowledge and experience in the provision and management of affordable and social housing;
  • Access to private finance and not-for-profit tax exemptions;
  • Tax and financial advantages over government organisations which allow for a more cost effective operation;
  • Provide landlord duties for service-providing organisations that own properties; and
  • High levels of tenant satisfaction.

Community housing providers may be interested in:

  • Buying stock off the plan; and/or
  • Taking long term leases on properties; and/or
  • Purchasing land parcels with a larger site;
  • Entering joint ventures with developers.

For both parties there may be considerable savings from tax breaks, assured sales or long-term leases, lower holding costs and marketing costs.

A full list of registered housing providers and further information including web links to these providers can be found on the Department of Housing website.

Affordable living considerations

Affordable living is used to describe the factors that influence household expenditure in addition to rent or mortgage payments. It recognises that there is more to making housing affordable than purely the cost of the dwelling. Utility and transport costs are an important consideration when determining the total cost of living in a home. Factors such as proximity to employment, public transport and essential services can affect household living expenditure and thus housing affordability. For example a low rent dwelling with high living expenses may be less affordable than a dwelling with higher rent and low utility and transport costs.

These elements are important considerations when delivering affordable housing products and ensuring they remain affordable into the future. These elements are likely to be viewed upon favourtably at the development assment stage.

Case studies - What does affordable housing look like?

The following case studies have been prepared to provide examples of how the private sector have been involved in the delivery of affordable housing projects and to detail the key details of successful affordable housing projects:

  • Cockburn Central: A good example of the integration of mixed use and cross subsidy of different affordable housing products and programs located within the one development. Cockburn Central presents a quality design outcome in terms of built form and public realm at an affordable rate.
  • Mandurah Junction: An emerging development based on sustainable planning principles.
  • "Elements" at South Hedland: A successful collaborative project involving multiple agencies and groups working together.

What information is required at the Development Assessment stage?

The City of Cockburn requires an accompanying Affordable Housing Report in addition to the usual development application requirements as follows: 

  1. Strategic justification description of the proposed development limit to 5 pages, including:
  • A statement providing details of the proposal, e.g. the numbers of residential units, the mix of units with numbers of habitable rooms and/or bedrooms, or the floor space of habitable area of residential units, plans showing the location of units and their number of habitable rooms and/or bedrooms, and/or the floor space of units. If different levels or types of affordability or tenure are proposed for different units this should be clearly and fully explained.
  • Consistency with policy and strategies including the LSP;
  • Adequacy of services and infrastructure ie proximity to public transport;
  • Environmental benefits; and
  • Public benefits of the site for the proposed purpose;

2.     Financial details:

  • Provision of a feasibility study. The City reserves the right for a registered surveyor or valuer to review.
  • Anticipated development costs. Note that the City may request a registered surveyor review the costs in certain circumstances;
  • Proposed ongoing tenure arrangement e.g. evidence of an agreement between the developer and a recognised affordable housing provider to manage housing and tenants and/or a letter of support for the proposal;
  • Target income groups for the affordable housing product provide an analysis and justification supported by the most up to date AMS data.
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